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Let the Class Action Suits Begin: SCOTUS Says Consumers Can Sue Apple Store Over Claims Of Monopolization

The United states Supreme Court is seen on April 15, 2019 in Washington DC.
The United states Supreme Court is seen on April 15, 2019 in Washington DC.

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The U.S. Supreme Court rules that consumers can pursue their lawsuit against Apple Inc. for monopolizing the market by artificially inflating its prices in its App Store.

In Apple vs. Pepper, consumers argue that because Apple requires developers to sell apps through its App Store, and collects a 30 percent cut of each purchase, Apple is violating antitrust laws.

Apple argues that it was simply acting as an intermediary for app developers who set their own prices.

In a 5-4 split, the Supreme Court rejected Apple’s argument that the App store should be immune to lawsuits from disgruntled consumers, but the court did not determine as to whether Apple had violated antitrust law.

This suit raises a larger question of whether tech giants hold monopolistic control over their markets, which has been a criticism of presidential candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.


Brent Kendall, legal affairs reporter in the Washington bureau of The Wall Street Journal, where he covers the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts, including the Supreme Court; he tweets @brkend

Stephen Nellis, technology correspondent for Reuters based in San Francisco; he tweets @StephenNellis